It wasn’t always there, the oldest locals will tell you. And though the builders keep lengthening the bridge a few stones at a time, soon the gap will be too great and their great construction will fall. But it was what came out of that gash in the earth where the tale truly lies.
“Started with a rumble,” said Grenn Fav, the village elder from Nemsett. “And when the *things* emerged, we were already running…”
Half a century ago, the ground cracked and widened a shudder at a time until the Dwellers emerged. They were rumors from myths and legends. The creatures who would steal your children if they misbehaved. But it turned out they weren’t just stories after all. And running wasn’t enough.
Anyone who could raise a weapon did their best as they clambered, disoriented, into the sun. Once the warriors discovered their weakness, they exploited it as best they could. Even with a concerted effort of smashing heads, hands, and arms as they rose only slowed the rush of hundreds of the beasts.
The Dwellers who escaped mostly ran to shelter, though a few decided they were hungry enough to tear into some poor villager. Those were the lucky victims as it turned out, for the ones that escaped got bigger, bolder, and more creative in their depravity.
“They hated us,” said Teran Bowe, now in his thirties and training the next generation of hunters. “We were sent in pairs into all the dark places. In one cave, we found a friend of mine flayed alive and pinned, dripping above the floor… but they didn’t eat him. They did it to hear him scream…”
After the rupture, the village survivors began sending hunting parties to find the Dwellers who escaped. Two by two, the skilled ones were sent out. Some returned and then they sent the children into the dark to find their prey, then began attacking with more concerted efforts. These were not dumb beasts in the wild. These creatures had devious minds and tortured their victims for pleasure it seemed.
Even now, 50 years after the rift began to widen, a few Dwellers are found from time to time. Only the shrewdest survived this long, but they are huge and wary, waiting for their prey…
“Even now, we wonder what else might be down there…” Fav said quietly…
Inspired by The Crevice by Andreas Rocha – DeviantArt.
Honestly I’m not sure where this came from, but there always seem to be things in the dark. It’s a great seed for some interesting adventures or even a campaign. One of these “Dwellers” (whatever they may be) could be residing in the dark just about anywhere… and we don’t know what might be waiting at the bottom. 🙂